Patriotism, it is said, is the last refuge of a scoundrel. I have seen many young men brainwashed and sent to their deaths in wars believing that they are fighting for the defence of their homeland – in other cases to save the world – when in fact they are fighting for the survival of a small clique and the economic and political interests that clique represent.
Right now Americans are being sold on the idea that ISIS represents a threat to the free world. But is the threat by ISIS really that great? Or are the Americans afraid that the countries of the Middle East and Northern Africa are going to fall into the hands of a grouping over which they have no control and thus they feel that their narrow political and economic interests are being threatened?
This is not to discount the fact that ISIS is a terrorist organization. But is this the reason that the Americans have taken to bombing ISIS units in Syria, Iraq and Libya? Or is the overwhelming concern the fact that the gains supposedly made by the invasion of Iraq and the Arab Spring will crumble in the face of the expansion of the Islamic State? Is the real threat ISIS or is it the fear that ISIS, which is anti-American, will emerge as a powerful force in the Middle East and Africa and thereby undermine and threaten US economic interests in those regions?
The world is being sold the idea that ISIS is a threat to freedom-loving peoples and therefore, the war against ISIS is a war to save all of humanity. I condemn all forms of terrorism, but I am circumspect of the western agenda in combatting ISIS.
I also hear back home that there is a campaign on to end the prorogation of parliament. It is said that this campaign is about the fight for democracy. I am circumspect about these claims, especially when those involved in this latest struggle have a checkered track record of fighting for democracy? Where was this struggle for democracy when there was brewing tyranny within the legislature? But more importantly, where was this struggle for democracy when the Kaieteur News came under State repression.
We are not dealing with the distant past. We are dealing with a recent development. We are dealing with the trumped-up charges against persons connected with Kaieteur News and we are dealing with threats and intimidation against the Kaieteur News. Where were the forces that are now railing against the threats to democracy when freedom of expression was under assault through the persecution of the publisher of this newspaper and the threats leveled against him? They pledged support, but they did not express this in a tangible way.
The fight for democracy cannot be a selective fight. All things in this life have some form of connection, and I do not see it as a coincidence that the attempts to muzzle Kaieteur News took place just before prorogation. It is no coincidence. One thing leads to another.
Support was pledged for Kaieteur News. Political parties promised to stand behind this newspaper. But when the time came for them to come out in their numbers and tangibly demonstrate their support for Glenn Lall, that support was very muted and subdued.
What sort of signal do you think that sent to those who were bent on running roughshod over the media?
The lesson from history that must be learnt is that we cannot be selective in condemning threats to democracy. We cannot stay silent in the face of attacks on the media, and be vociferous about the alleged threats to parliamentary democracy. There is no room for inconsistency.
All things are connected and a threat to this newspaper represents a threat to this entire nation. It was never about Kaieteur News alone.
Wherever democracy is threatened it must be opposed. We cannot be selective about it, because if we do, then those who threaten democracy will be emboldened to extend their assault on freedom and democracy to organs of the State.
Sep 22, 2018The 2018 Indigenous Heritage Games (IHG) was officially kicked off by Minister of Indigenous Peoples Affairs, Sydney Allicock yesterday morning at the at the Everest Cricket Club (ECC) Ground,...
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